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Building While Flying

Jun 10, 2021

Agency life is packed full of lessons and experiences you’ll take with you on every next step of your career. For this week’s podcast guest, those lessons helped him build a multi-million dollar brand that’s now a household name and has made a difference in wellness for thousands of people.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by the Sasha Group. We’re the small-to-medium-sized business arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding, media, and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together. 

Mike Grillo is the CEO and co-founder of Gravity Products, home to the world-famous Gravity Blanket.

He’s an advertising and marketing industry veteran who began his career in crisis communications before pivoting to social and digital media. In 2011, he became an early member of Gary Vaynerchuk's eponymous agency, VaynerMedia. It's through his time at Vayner that he developed his love of brand building and fostered his entrepreneurial spirit. After founding Gravity Blankets in 2017, Mike and his team sold the brand to the WIN Brands Group in 2021 for its next phase of growth.

In their conversation, Mike and Mickey dive into the birth of Gravity Blankets—from product design to a successful Kickstarter campaign to getting retail space in a large department store. They discuss branding on a budget and embracing the “scrappy” agency attitude to build a successful brand. Mike also discusses the balance of retail and DTC, stressing that people shop in different ways and the consumer journey is often complex. Lastly, Mike shares why WIN Brands Group felt like the perfect fit to acquire Gravity Blankets—and why that decision is so important.

Other in-flight topics:

  • Transferable skills from agency to brand side
  • Product design and production
  • Retail vs DTC
  • Importance of strong retail presence
  • Branding a new product on a tight budget
  • Product expansion and testing what your audience likes 
  • Finding the right partner to sell your brand


Thanks so much for tuning in this week. Before you keep scrolling, we wanted to let you know about a Sasha Group offering that may be relevant to those of you who handle your own digital and social marketing. STORK is a weekly delivery of insider knowledge and strategy, straight from our team and industry experts. We’re moving into our second year of STORK, and are really excited to continue helping our community of entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses to step up their social and digital marketing game. If this sounds like a good fit for you, you can learn more here. (link to